Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's a good thing he's so darn adorable

the most handsomest boy who ever lived

Because he's kind of been driving me crazy lately.

Not that I blame him for acting out.  I'm stressed, which I'm sure he senses. And he's also having to deal with having had Daddy around all the time, to suddenly now Daddy's gone for 5 days straight while he works in Sacramento.  In a way it's amazing he's not being more of a terror.  Add to this the fact that I'm stressed out about finding a house to move to, and am pregnant = hormonal + exhausted beyond reason = unable to deal with toddlers who scream and throw things as well as I maybe otherwise would.

Add this all together, and, well, it hasn't been all that pleasant around here lately.

But, we're getting along.  It's not an ideal situation, but we're almost done with our 2nd week of it. Jen's taking the train down to spend the day with us tomorrow, and up ahead is a 3-day weekend. And, we *might* have found a townhouse to rent that's pretty close to perfect.  I'm trying not to get too excited about it till we know we have it (the last time we thought we'd found our house things didn't work out when the owner suddenly refused to return any of our calls, so I'm trying not to count our chickens before the proverbial eggs hatch).  It sure will be nice to have this settled, though-- once we have a house, we can then set a moving date. And once we set a moving date, I can move on to thinking about all sorts of other things that have been on the back-burner till we figured this whole thing out.  Unfortunately, now instead of moving around the first of the month, we might not be doing so until well into the 2nd week of June.   Which is a bummer, but, hell, it's better than nothing.

In other positive news, today was the first day all week that I didn't feel the need to pass out as soon as D went down for his nap. Here's hoping that first-trimester fatigue might be starting to lift...?  *crossing fingers*

Sunday, May 23, 2010

six word sunday: Looking forward to a sweet summer.

Strawberry season is upon us! This is one of my favorite aspects of living in California.  Seriously, I have never tasted strawberries as good as the juicy, red-all-the-way-through ones we buy at the farmer's market.

six word sunday challenge

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cutie Patootie & Life Update

So, general life update.  Zach's first week at work went fairly well.  It sucked to have him be away all week, but he made it a lot easier on us by cooking lots of food the weekend before so we could get by on leftovers for most of the week.  I also called up Ms Pam again and started leaving D with her a few mornings a week from now till we move. On thursday Jenny came down for the day to hang out with us, which turned out to be pretty much perfect timing since I felt like a zombie that day and could hardly keep my eyes open.  I took a 3 hour nap mid-day.  Zach drove the Fit (usually my car) to Sacramento, which meant D and I drove the CR-V all week which left quite an impression on D-- he kept talking about how "Daddy drove Mommy's car to Sacramento!"  By Thursday he did start asking about when Daddy would come back.  And the way his face lit up on Friday evening when he heard Zach at the door was PRICELESS.

This morning Zach drove D up to San Francisco with him, where he played basketball with Andrew while Jakki watched D.  She ended up taking him by a fire station where the firemen let D get up in the fire truck!  They were gone till 3pm, and believe it or not I spent a good bit of that time lying in bed.  Some days I feel pretty ok, a bit more tired than usual, but manageable.  Then I have days like the past 3 where I can hardly function b/c I'm so tired.  I'm about 11 weeks along now, and believe you me I am counting down then days till the end of this first trimester in hopes I regain a bit of energy again.  This is rough... and I feel bad for D, since instead of getting to go to the park and do other fun things, we spend much more time at home.  He's been a trooper, though, thankfully entertaining himself some and spending a lot of time playing out in the patio.

So, we'll have tomorrow all together as a family, and then Monday morning Zach's off to another week of work away.  At least it seems we're close to having our housing situation settled (we're waiting to hear back from one place, should be able to make a decision in the next day or two).  It will be so nice to have that figured out-- have an address, set up a moving day, have a plan.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the importance of proper support

Over the past several months I've discovered several individuals and organizations through twitter and facebook who work to promote info and support for breastfeeding (I believe they are affectionately referred to as "lactivists").  I've been pro-breastfeeding for a long time, but it's been really interesting to join these communities and read more about how to help others, and also the various barriers new mothers face as they try to breastfeed their babies.  It's amazing and very eye-opening to realize how many mothers today have parents who formula-fed and actively discourage their children from breastfeeding, or how many hospital nurses and doctors sabotage new mothers' attempts to breastfeed through their (often well-meaning) actions.

Recently I came across a blog post on early weaning and the most popular causes of it, and I started thinking just how very lucky I was when I had D.  I had huge amounts of support, and looking back I realize how big a help that was.  I wanted to document here what those things were:

  • When I was still pregnant, I joined a mom group for English-speaking expats who had kids under 2 years old.  The moms in the group were extremely warm and welcoming.  Most of them had breastfed their kids or were still doing so.  They helped prepare me for it by giving me realistic expectations for what the first couple months would be like (while sparing me the terror-inducing horror stories). One piece of advice I remember vividly was a mom who told me that if I was serious about breastfeeding, I should make a promise to myself to stick with it for 2 months.  If after 2 months things were still going badly, I could then re-evaluate, but to not allow myself to quit before then.  But, that for most moms by 2 months you've gotten through the worst of it and are on your way to things being a lot easier.  She was right.
  • Having a natural, intervention-free birth, attended by a midwife.  D was alert and awake as soon as he was born.  He went directly onto my chest as soon as he came out, and he nursed for the first time within the first half hour.  I keep reading how crucial this is, to allow baby to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth.  My midwife visited us at home each day the first couple days (and intermittently for the first 10 days), and made clear the importance of nursing at least every 2-3 hours around the clock (fairly essential for establishing milk supply, and I don't think it's always stressed in hospitals).
  • When D was 3 days old it became clear he needed treatment for jaundice.  The 2 of us spent 3 nights in a hospital while he got treatment.  The jaundice had made him so sleepy that he couldn't latch or nurse effectively.  None of the nurses (2 of which were lactation consultants) ever mentioned formula.  They brought me a breast pump and had me try to nurse, feed him a bottle of (previously pumped) breastmilk, then pump after the feeding, repeating the cycle every 3 hours.  it was utterly exhausting... but worth it. By the time we left he was taking in a good 3-4oz directly off the boob, and while we'd had to introduce bottles early it didn't interfere at all with breastfeeding. I am so glad no one ever pushed for supplementing with formula.
  • Both my mom and Zach's mom breastfed us as babies.  This is kind of huge.  My mom stayed with us for 5 weeks after D was born, and she helped provide support and advice with breastfeeding.  She was also my personal cheerleader, never second-guessing me. 
  • Zach was 110% onboard with breastfeeding.  He was my #1 advocate.  I remember two specific times in those first 2 months when I turned to him and said, "This is too hard, I don't know if I want to do this anymore."  He always listened to me, empathized with me, then reminded me how important this was to us and that we could get through it and it would get better soon.  We did, and it did.  
  • D's pediatrician was pro-breastfeeding. Each time we went in for a check-up he'd ask if I was still exclusively breastfeeding, and when I'd say "yes" he'd grin real big and say, "Good!"
  • At one point, a few weeks in, I remember getting really discouraged because my breasts were so sore and it felt we were still having trouble with D's latch.  I thought of all my female friends who had recently given birth and who had breastfed their babies (and, luckily, there were a few).  I sent out an email asking for advice, and got many encouraging words back.  Those simple words of "Yes, that happened to me, too, but it really does get better after a few weeks" didn't take the pain away, but they helped me feel so, so, so much better.
  • It took me a while to feel comfortable enough with breastfeeding to even attempt it away from home.  After a few months, I gained enough courage and would breastfeed D wherever was needed, and rarely bothered with a cover (seemed a pain to deal with, honestly).  A few times I remember being in a cafe or restaurant and getting the sense that the waiter felt slightly uncomfortable, but no one ever made any remarks to me about it or did anything to make me feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding.  The only reactions I remember getting from strangers were smiles and an occasional encouraging comment (I believe I once heard a woman say, "That's so lovely" about us).  
  • And then there's Donovan.  Precious, sweet, determined Donovan.  He played his own, very large role.  Starting at 2 months of age, he plain refused bottles.  Wouldn't have anything to do with them.  This made things a bit tougher on me, but in the end it was a bit of a blessing.  When he was 5-6 months old his weight started dropping on the charts (even the ones for breastfed babies).  By 7 months, our pediatrician reluctantly recommended supplementing with formula while I tried to build up my supply.  D wouldn't have anything to do with it.  Again at 10 months we went through a period when I thought he needed supplementing, b/c my supply seemed to dip for a week (he was all of a sudden hardly peeing at all).  Again, he wouldn't have anything to do with the bottles or sippy cups with the other milk.  He wanted mommy's boob, and that was that.  After that week or so my supply came back to normal, and it turned out we just had a skinny & active baby.  We went on to nurse for a good 15 months, and I give him a lot of the credit for that.  
It makes me sad to know that few women get this much support and help and resources with breastfeeding.  If at any point in those first weeks someone, especially someone close to me like Zach or my mom, had suggested I give up and go the "easy route" with bottles, I'm not sure what I would have done.  I don't mean to sound like I'm judging moms who use formula-- there are many reasons to stop breastfeeding, and many of them are valid.  Each family has to make the decision that makes the most sense for them.  But every mother, every parent, should get every bit of support we can to help achieve the goals we set for ourselves.  What upsets me is that mothers who want to breastfeed give up because of all the obstacles placed in from of them

All this is much more on my mind these days as I begin to feel the changes in my body that come with pregnancy, and feel that familiar tingling in my breasts that says my body is working to start producing milk (how friggin cool is that??).  I didn't always love breastfeeding, in fact sometimes I didn't like it very much at all.  Other times, it was blissful.  I feel very lucky that I had so much support with breastfeeding, and very glad that we were able to nurse for over a year-- I know it was the best thing for D and I.  And I'm very much looking forward to getting to do it all over again with this new baby.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My 2yr old has cradle cap

I think D was maybe about 5-6 months when I first noticed that he had some cradle cap on the top of his scalp.  I read up on it in a few different sources, and even tried dousing his head in olive oil and then prying the flakes loose with a comb (didn't go over too well with him... not a fan of the comb).  After I read that cradle cap will usually just go away on its own after a while, I figured I'd just let it be.  It didn't really bother me, and didn't seem to bother him, and it seemed like a PITA to try to get rid of anyway.

Well, now he's 27 months old and it's.still.there.  And I'm now kicking myself for not tasking care of it when he was a baby, b/c now he has so much more hair and isn't exactly any more cooperative.  I wouldn't worry about it much, except I think it's making his scalp itch, too.  Frustratingly, when I try to again research remedies for cradle cap I find a bunch of different suggestions, but none of them seem to have much substance behind them as far as effectiveness.  I asked D's pediatrician about it a while back and she said we could try using a dandruff shampoo.  So now I'm working on trying that consistently, washing his hair with it 2x per week or so, and seeing if that helps at all.

Unfortunately, Zach has had slight issues with dandruff since his teens, so this might also be part of the kiddo's genes.  As Zach said to me tonight as I was venting to him about this stuff, "This might just be the price of great hair." ; )

Have any of you had to deal with cradle cap, with a baby or older kid?  How did you take care of it?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a tad more than six words...

I know, it's sunday. But I don't think I'm doing a six word photo tonight.  Will hopefully get back into regularly scheduled bloggings once things settle down for a bit.  Which will hopefully be soon... sometime.  (or at least for a few months before we become a family of 4 and all hell breaks loose)

Yesterday's trip to Sacramento went quite well. Donovan did awesome with aunt Jen all day (though he did save 2 exceptionally messy poops for her to contend with, that little stinker).  We managed to look at 3 different houses, and drive by 3 more that aren't yet available to see inside.  We really loved one of the ones we toured yesterday, its location is decent and the house has quite a bit of charm... however I'm not sure it's quite right (two big strikes are no central AC-- does have window units-- and while it has 4 bedrooms, 2 are upstairs and 2 are downstairs, which makes things awkward in trying to figure out who sleeps where).

This coming week (hopefully tomorrow or tuesday, even) Zach will get to tour 2 of the houses we drove past.  One of them could be perfect (location is ideal, price is great, has all the on-paper amenities we want), I'm just a tad bit worried about what the inside will look like, especially since the rent is relatively cheap.  I'm crossing my fingers, though.  There are other options, and ones that would be really wonderful to live in, but would also be pricier and a tighter squeeze on the budget.  Which is a whole dilemma in itself-- all these years we've lived in somewhat dumpy places in order to save on rent (the only exception being Geneva, and that was only b/c work wouldn't let us use the housing allowance money on anything else so we went with the expensive farmhouse).  At what point do you decide it's worth it to pay more for a place you know you'll love?  I'm not sure.

We're still going back and forth on whether it'll make sense to buy, either sooner (few months) or later (year+).  My guess is that's a conversation we'll have many, many, many times over in the coming months. It was encouraging to see an open house for a house that looked like it would have been pretty much perfect and was beautiful, listed at just about the top end of our price range.  But, I still have qualms about putting all our available savings into a house, in a market that may or may not appreciate in price over the coming 3-4 years, while working for a start-up that could go potentially go golden, or easily go bust.

One thing you can be sure of-- if you thought Zach spends a crapload of time on (oh, and he does), you'd better believe he'll be even more obsessed now. ; )

Ramble, ramble, ramble... where was I?  Oh, yes. So tomorrow is Zach's FIRST DAY AT WORK!  This is fairly exciting.  I'll probably be on pins and needles all day waiting for a call from him to tell me either these guys seem to really know their sh!t, or that no one knows what they're doing.  Aaaah, the magic of start-ups!  He left right before D's bedtime to drive to Sac, where he'll reside in a hotel till Friday night.  This will likely be our routine for the next 2 weeks, and then we'll hopefully move into our next abode sometime around June 1st.

At least, that is the plan.  It's about as certain as if it were written in pencil on a cocktail napkin.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Because I thought we could all use a pretty picture

Today I edited and uploaded pictures for the first time in what feels like a while. My (also pregnant) big sister, Criss, mentioned recently how she feels like she has no creative energy left for writing right now, like it's all going to her uterus and creating a human being.  I think I'm feeling the same thing.  I just don't have the energy to bother with taking or editing pictures.  Which is ok, I can take a short break... I'm sure, if nothing else, that by the time I have an adorable and scrumptious newborn baby model once again I'll be taking lots more (though then we'll see how I find the time to process them). ; )

Tomorrow Zach and I are driving to Sacramento once again to look at 4 houses, and drive by a couple others to see if they're worth having Zach take a look at them next week (not available for viewing tomorrow).  I'm hoping one of them can meet our needs and we can plan this move already.  Keeping fingers crossed...

Donovan will be entertained by wonderful friends and my younger sister, Jen, all day tomorrow, making our day so much simpler.  I am so grateful for their help... and that we're remaining close enough to have it available (as opposed to needing to do this halfway across the country without anyone to help out).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are breastfeeding dolls a sign of the apocalypse?

Today I was catching up on a new blog I've started reading.  One of the recent posts was written by a guest, and showcased 10 seriously inappropriate toys for kids.  Browsing through selections number one through nine I went back and forth on whether I truly believed these were real toys, and not made up by some sick personality.  They really were that bad.

Then I got to number ten: a breastfeeding doll.

Wait. Really? A breastfeeding doll is being lumped into the same category as a cigarette-rolling kit and a unicorn with a penis and balls as it's "horn"?

I checked out the linked video, which promised to be so offensive and horrible and WRONG, figuring I must be missing something. Nope.  It's a doll, it comes with a halter top the girl can wear, and then the baby can suckle at her chest.

Now, I realize that since breastfeeding is still considered very taboo by large sections of our population (yes, even today-- shocking, isn't it?) the idea of a young girl pretending to breastfeed might be a little uncomfortable at first.  We're just not used to it.  But as I thought about this blog post (and the subsequent comments, which pretty much all agreed that a breastfeeding doll was just about the most horrible and creepy thing ever), I remembered all the stories I've heard of moms breastfeeding their younger child, and how older siblings will see this and pretend to breastfeed their dolls.  Just as they pretend to do so many other tasks they see us parents do-- change a baby's diaper, sweep the floor, wear our shoes, etc.

So... why is this so disturbing?  In the era of "breast is best" why do so many people have such a visceral reaction to a child imitating this natural act?  And what does that say about our attitudes about breastfeeding in general?

What I came up with is that we still have this idea that breastfeeding is, at some level, a sexual act ( know, b/c it involves boobs).  Therefore, letting young kids pretend to breastfeed is wrong, icky, almost pedophilic in nature.  Nevermind that the girl is fully clothed the entire time.

And I started thinking more about this, and all the other body parts that are involved in sex that are also used in completely non-sexual acts.  For example, the penis.  Men use their penis for sex, and also to pee.  Does that mean that teaching your 2 yr old to use his penis to pee into a toilet is somehow a sexual act, or inappropriate/obscene?  Clearly, no.

Another example: the mouth. Mouths and lips play big roles in sexual activity, from kissing to oral sex.  Does that mean that other uses for your mouth-- like talking, or eating-- are also sexual?  Is a child who sucks his thumb performing an obscene act?  Again, no.

So why can we not separate the sexual vs non-sexual roles of breasts and nipples?  Why can we not realize that there is NOTHING SEXUAL WHATSOEVER about breastfeeding a baby (or a toddler, or whatever age you choose to breastfeed to)?

(I could also go into the double-standards of being so disturbed by a fully-clothed child holding a baby to her chest to "breastfeed", but not batting an eyelash at an infant girl dressed in a skimpy bikini... but I'm thinking that's a whole other blog post)

The thing is, as long as people still see breastfeeding as sexual, obscene, or just plain "icky," there will be huge barriers in place for mothers who attempt to breastfeed their children.  I realize some or even many of you may not agree with me on this post, and I'm taking a risk by writing it.  But it's only by talking about these things and (hopefully) getting even a few people to think differently, that anything changes.  And things have got to change.  It is ridiculous that women are being kicked out of restaurants, airplanes, and pools for breastfeeding (sometimes even when they use a cover).  It is ridiculous that moms choose to feed their babies formula bc they feel otherwise they'll be trapped in their homes for that first year, unable to feed their babies in public (this is not the only or even main reason parents choose formula, but I do think many women weigh in the barriers against breastfeeding in their decision not to breastfeed, or their efforts to do so are de-railed because of them).  It is ridiculous that women can parade around in a low-cut top with no problems, while a mother can't feed her baby without being harassed or shamed.  Especially considering recent findings that breastfeeding saves lives (and no, not just in 3rd world countries... here in the US, too).

I think the perfect way to end this post is by linking to another post, a beautiful piece at PhD in Parenting listing 50 Reasons for Breastfeeding Anytime, Anywhere.  Read it. Save it. Pass it on.  And yes, breastfeed.  However it is YOU (not anyone else) feels comfortable doing so.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What We're Looking For: Sacramento (can you help?)

A friend suggested that I try to harness the power of the interwebs to see if it might help us find any leads. So, here goes...  if you or anyone you know lives in Sacramento, particularly in the areas we're looking for, we would highly appreciate any help you can send our way!


So, there are 2 options we're currently entertaining:

1. Find a house to rent for a year, then we can take our time getting to know the area and looking for a place to buy.  Our requirements for a rental house:

  • 3 bedroom, 1.5-2 bath
  • Enclosed patio or yard (doesn't have to be big, just an outdoor space where D could play without needing constant supervision... we have a small patio for this now, thinking of something equivalent)
  • Designated parking, at least for 1 car.
  • Storage shed or garage.
  • Cats welcome (we have 2).
  • Available now, or at the latest by June 1st.

2. Find a short-term rental where we could go month-to-month, and look to buy a house within 2-4 months.  Here we'd be more flexible, since it'd be for a short time:
  • Prefer 3bed/2bath, but could go with 2bed/1bath.
  • House or apartment.
  • Still need parking.
  • Cats still need to be ok. 


Our top-choice is East Sacramento, though we're also very open to other nearby neighborhoods like Midtown, McKinley, River Park, Land Park, and College Commons.  (Some of these we got to visit or drive through, others we didn't explore but have heard great things about-- if you have advice about any of these neighborhoods, that would also be great to hear.)  If we go with a short-term rental option we could be further out, but would still want to be able to easily get to the core areas for house hunting.


If any of you happen to know of rental homes (or apartments) that fit the descriptions above, we'd really love to hear about it.  

We're also looking for recommendations on real estate agents in the area, either to help find a home to rent and/or to buy.  If you know of someone who's good and trustworthy, we would greatly appreciate hearing that recommendation (would much rather go with someone recommended personally than picking off a list).

You can leave comments here or email me at mightymarce at gmail dot com.

THANK YOU!  =)  

Sunday, May 09, 2010


If you follow me on twitter or facebook then you know a bit about the rollercoaster ride we've been on the past few days... So, Thursday through today we were in Sacramento, with a mission to find a home to rent for the next year.  It was only Monday that Zach accepted the job offer, so we haven't exactly had much time to research different areas of town, but kept hearing over and over again how nice Roseville (a town on the outskirts of Sac) was and how cute its downtown was, etc.  We looked up Craigslist listings and the prices looked good.  So, that's where we first headed when we got into town.

I don't want to dump on Roseville as it certainly isn't a bad place, but, um, it was not quite what we'd expected.

Areas of Roseville were downright dumpy. I'll say that, and really any town will have those.  But it was also sooo spread out. With huge railroad tracks running through it.  And with strips malls eve-ry-where.  The downtown was... meh.  And certainly not very walkable-to, which was our big hope.  Eventually we found the newer suburbs, which are basically your classic suburbs with nice homes that are spacious enough, and built recently enough so the trees have quite a bit of growing to do before they provide any sort of shade.  We did find one home that fit our budget and seemed nice enough, with a bonus of being literally 4 houses away from a park.  Sure, it felt very secluded from anywhere interesting, and Zach's commute would likely be hell (10 miles, but filled with traffic), but otherwise it seemed good enough.  We went back to our hotel Friday night after seeing this place, thinking we may have made our decision.

Then Saturday we spent some time down in Midtown (downtown Sac).  We'd been told this area was very nice, but was a bit more pricey... but for good reason.  Both our jaws dropped as we drove through block after block of beautiful, well-kept victorian homes, with nice sidewalks, streets shaded by mature trees, cafes and shops interspersed throughout so as to be within walking distance of most everything. And this wasn't just a small pocket... nope, it goes on, through East Sacramento, and on to surrounding neighborhoods, a 50 square-block area in the middle of the city that was basically like this.

Coming from the bay area, where the overwhelming attitude about Sacramento is that it's practically the armpit of California and worthy only of a brief stop-over on your way up to Tahoe, this little slice of heaven was quite a surprise.

We stopped into a crepe restaurant for lunch, and as we were standing in line to order Zach and I looked at each other and he said, "Does it feel like we're in San Francisco to you?"  And I'd just been thinking the same thing.  It felt like a cleaner, bum-free version of many "hip" neighborhoods in SF.  As we ate our meal, Zach looked over at me again and this time said, "Honey, I don't think I can move to Roseville."

We looked at 2 places in Midtown that day.  Neither of them were quite right (one was too expensive, the other didn't have designated parking... and the landlord seemed a bit odd) but they were both stunningly beautiful.  We also stopped by nearby McKinley Park, which also blew me away-- large pond with ducks and geese swimming around, a huge play structure that D fell in lover with, rose garden, open green fields, public library next to it-- and in the course of hanging out there for about an hour we happened to strike up conversations with 2 different families who were both incredibly nice, and incredibly helpful in giving advice on what areas to look for housing.

So, Roseville seems to be out.  It's discouraging in a way to have spent 4 days in Sacramento and not have found a place.  But, we now have a much better idea of what Sacramento looks like, and where we want to be.  We'll keep scourging craigslist and try to set up some appointments to look at things this week, and either Zach will go look at them on his own or we'll try to go up together again.  Unfortunately there's just not a whole lot up for rent in East Sac... but there's a lot up for sale.

Which leads to the other idea budding in our minds, of finding someplace to rent month-to-month short-term and then look to buy a house sometime in the next 2-4 months.  Which in some ways seems crazy... and in others, makes perfect sense.  We have lots of research, and lots of thinking, to do to figure out what the best next step will be... and we'll see what turns up.

To sum things up... thursday afternoon as we drove through the suburbs and strip malls, I had a bit of a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Now that I know what the core area of Sacramento is like, I'm much more excited about this move.  There's this whole area that's beautiful, has parks everywhere, schools are apparently excellent, people are friendly and open (at least the ones we ran into), and there are gorgeous homes that we might just be able to afford.  This. Is. Nice.  We could really live here.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

about a million thoughts going through my head...

I suppose this is to be expected right about now, considering everything that's going on.  But I kind of feel like my head might explode at any moment as I try to wrap it around all these different things we need to take care of, which in some ways all depend on each other.  For example:

- We need to find a place to rent. That will hopefully be taken care of this weekend, which will then give us a timeframe of when we'll actually move...

- Which then allows us to plan a going-away party, as well as figure out where I need to schedule future prenatal appointments for...

- Speaking of, I need to find a midwife in Sacramento. And, hopefully, also an OB who will be non-hostile to the fact that I will also be seeing a midwife, and have no interest in giving birth in a hospital unless it becomes truly necessary.  I'm also starting to wonder if I even need an OB, and just get my care through a midwife instead...

- Which also ties into us needing to figure out our health insurance situation. Zach's new job will only cover his monthly premiums, not his family's, and the quotes they gave us are, well, astronomical. So we're trying to figure out what else to do, what other plans are available to us, and perhaps the high deductible plan would make more sense after all if I'm paying out of pocket for midwife expenses anyway...

So, as you can see, I have lots to think about, and lots and lots of questions I need to ask.  However I'm limited in how much of that I can do until we actually move.  Till then, I'll be trying to write things down and organize them in some sort of coherent order so as not to drive myself nuts.  Wish me luck.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Two Things...

1) We're moving to Sacramento!  Zach accepted a job at a small start-up in Sacramento, CA (about 2 hrs from here, towards the mountains).  His start date as of now is May 17th (yikes!).  Also...

2) I'm pregnant!  Baby #2 is set to arrive sometime this December.  I'm only 8 weeks, but we saw the heartbeat last week so I'm feeling fairly confident that this little bean is here to stay.  (still, crossing fingers...)

See? I told y'all we had a crapload of stuff to going on over here.  This should help explain why I haven't been blogging much lately-- it's hard to find stuff to write about when you have two HUGE major life-changing developments going on, but can't really talk much about either of them.  It also explains why I've been so tired lately, and why I look like death in any and all recent pictures (I seem to be lucking out again and escaping full-on morning sickness... but the bone-chilling, want-to-sleep-all-day exhaustion is completely kicking my butt).

The job decision was pretty tough.  It's been an emotional, exciting, frustrating, stressful past few weeks in this household.  Zach ended up getting two offers-- one in Lansing, Michigan, and the other in Sacramento.  Both start-ups, both pretty exciting opportunities. For a little while Michigan was all we had, and for that bit of time I think we were both getting excited about that possibility. East Lansing sounds like a very cute little town; it's home to Michigan State University, so would have the advantage of being a college town with a bit more excitement and diversity; Zach's potential employers were super incredibly nice; Zach's trip for the interview went really well, and had gorgeous weather to really help show off the place.  But then we started really thinking about what it would mean to live through a Michigan winter.  Five or six months of cold, little sun, and lots of snow that sticks around for weeks at a time... and I think we both started to worry a bit for our sanity.  The worst winters we've gone through were probably in Geneva, which weren't that bad, but the greyness, fog, and overall lack of sun really affected Zach's mood (I swear he's got at least a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder).  And for myself, I had some very real concerns about having a baby in December, and facing several months of near-freezing temperatures and being stuck indoors with a newborn and an active toddler.  And pretty soon we both started feeling a sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we thought about actually moving there.

(Why yes, we are spoiled Californians.)

So when the offer from Sacramento came through, I think we both knew that's where we'd go.  Unfortunately, there's a significant difference in the quality of the offers-- Michigan (partially b/c they've had trouble getting people to move there) had a very nice offer, which combined with the much lower cost of living would have made a lot of financial stuff a lot easier.  Sacramento's offer is not quite as nice, and while cost of living is cheaper there than here in the bay area, we may end up taking a bit of a pay cut in the end.  Which kinda sucks.

Still, he has a job. One that allows us to stay in California, and enjoy the year-round good weather, beautiful landscape, fresh produce and markets, etc. We get to move closer to the mountains, which makes Zach very happy, but still are close enough to our friends in the bay, and Jenny and Andrew in San Francisco, to be able to still see them reasonably often.  And, heck, with cheaper housing we may actually be able to afford to buy a house one of these days, a prospect that was always going to be iffy in Silicon Valley.  The finances might not be perfect, but everything else is working out pretty dang nicely, and that's something to be quite grateful for.

So, onward and upward.  We're heading to Sacramento later this week to look at housing and hopefully find a place to rent.  Then we'll figure out when we can move, which may be after Zach starts work.  We'll see. It will be an adventure.   ; )

Saturday, May 01, 2010

in-laws in town

The in-laws were in town visiting the past week.  They first arrived in San Francisco and spent last weekend there with Andrew. On Sunday Zach took D with him to meet up with them and stay overnight in SF.  This was the first time that Zach had ever taken D overnight, by himself, leaving me at home.  It was grand.  I sat on my butt and watched Sex and the City all night.  D in turn appears to have had just about the Best Day Ever in SF, getting to ride in a cable car AND visit the cable car museum, along with a super cool pet store in Chinatown and even ride in a taxi (he's mildly obsessed with taxis).

Monday they all came down this way, and so the past week D has been in Grandparent Heaven.  It's been fun, if a bit exhausting, and as much as we (and especially Donovan) love the visits it's also nice to get back to our quiet routine.  Well, for a moment, at least... life still feels pretty crazy and hectic right now.  At least the stress of the job search & decisions will soon be done and over with (to be replaced by the stress of moving, of course).  Zach makes his official decision & notifications on Monday, so I'll wait till then to make official announcements.


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